My son, I fear that all is lost. The line has been broken and there will be no one left to fight the darkness. I know you tried but it is out of both our hands. When Sarah came, it was the best and worst thing that could happen. I have done all I could for you, and I can think of nothing else to be done. Raise her the best you can with the time we have left. It is coming just like it has done ever since he woke and there will be no guardians of our blood line. Tell her when you can about us and how I died and stay alive for as long as possible. I lov…
You Learn Something New Every Day
“Sarah! Hurry or you’ll be late for school!” her dad yelled from downstairs.
“Just a sec, Dad! I am printing my report!” she called down, not letting her focus stray from the computer screen.
“I thought you finished that already. You don’t want to be a pro at crastinating.”
“Ha, Ha, very funny, old man,” Sarah said as her printer finished the last page. Even before the rollers released it, she pulled her paper out, slung her backpack on and shoved the last piece of toast in her mouth.
“Let’s go, Dad, or I’ll be late,” she mumbled past a mouthful of toast as she bounded down the stairs.
“Where would you get that idea?” he asked, straightening his tie in a mirror next to the front door. “And why do all your pants look like that? Do all you fifteen-year-oldies have to wear clothes with so many holes? It looks like you were attacked by some wild badger.”
“Yes, Dad, yes we do.”
“The animal was probably driven mad from your music.”
“Ha, Ha, good one, young lady.” He opened the front door for her as she also was checking her appearance in the mirror. She flipped her hair this way and that and, finishing with a wink, left the house. Her father rolled his eyes before shutting the door.
“Seriously?” she groaned. “Why don’t we talk about that blackout we had a few days ago? Or that strange garbage strike; the animals a few blocks away who suddenly lost all their fur? Why not the news of that family that said all their kids’ toys came to life. Why you got to hit me with my clothes, Dad?”
She leapt into their car with unusual zeal. “What’s up? Did that guy with a big nose text you last night or something?” he asked, fastening his seatbelt.
“He does not have a big nose; parts of his face are still growing into their prime. It’s the new car, Dad. I can’t wait to roll up in front of the school in this. It is really going to up my cred! Just the name of this sucker calls for attention. De Mazda CX-number 5.”
“I have news for you,” her dad said as he put his arm behind her seat and twisted around to watch as they backed out of the driveway. “I’m dropping you off a block down and you can walk while I pull up in this silver werewolf killing machine.”
“It might help my students do better in class if they respect me more. Seeing me in this thing will turn a lot of heads.”
“I might just make principal yet, flashing this thing.”
“All right,” he said with a smile. “We will drive up together if you let me control the radio. I don’t want to try and teach with a migraine again. Deal?”
“Deal,” she said, sounding calmer. She watched the houses turn to businesses on their way to school. The radio went on distracting them both until a commercial sounded and her dad turned it down.
“What’s your paper about and who is it for?” he asked, risking a glance at her, taking his eyes off the road.
“Miss Amanda, and she wanted us to write about something that was special about ourselves. So, I wrote about how you, I, and Grandpa have the same birthdays. I had difficulty finding stuff about Grandpa. I know she will want me to have proof and I couldn’t find anything about him…”
“You don’t want to find anything about him,” her dad said seriously. The fun was gone from the air.
“Dad, why?” Sarah protested. “You don’t tell me anything other than we were born on the same day.”
“Is it because he wanted you to have a boy and didn’t want me?”
“Sarah! That’s enough.”
Neither spoke to each other nor heard anything other than the radio until they pulled up to Christopher Lee High School. The sound of cars, parents, and students filled the parking lot as everyone enjoyed the warm weather. There was still an air of dampness from the storms in the past week.
As soon as the car was placed in park, Sarah unbuckled and pulled on the latch to leave. Before she could, her dad locked the doors.
“Sarah, please?” he pleaded, turning off the radio.
“No good will come from learning any more about your grandfather. He did love you with all his heart. He would have done anything for you. He just wasn’t given the time to live to show it, that’s all.”
“Then why don’t we ever talk about him or Mom? Why all the mystery and secrets? Why do you keep that stuff in the attic that you never let me see?”
“Sarah,” her dad said calmly. He lowered his head, staring at the steering wheel. “I love you and you know that I wouldn’t ever let anything happen to you if I could help it. Some things are better left in the dark.”
Before he could say anything else, Sarah unlocked the door and stepped out. She gave her father a look that would crack glass before shutting the door and walking to her first class.
Her father sat alone, not moving, not knowing what to say. The blue sky didn’t mirror his gloomy mood until a loud group of kids crossing in front of him caused his head to rise. Grabbing his briefcase, he rubbed his neck nervously. Before reaching for the door, he stopped and said, “Should I tell her? Is she ready? Would breaking the promise to her mother spare her pain or bring more?” Shaking his head, he said, “I just don’t know. I don’t know anymore.”
Before he could ask himself anymore questions, he left to teach his class. “Work is the best remedy to get my mind off my troubles,” he thought.